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J.D. Power Ranks TV Services

J.D. Power, the market-research firm whose surveys some car companies seem inordinately fond of quoting, released its latest findings about television services yesterday. And although the Westlake Village, Calif., company touted its survey results as good news for that industry, that's not necessarily the case for all the companies its data cover.


Across the U.S., J.D. Power ranked customer satisfaction -- based on survey responses from 28,118 households queried in January, March and July of this year -- at an average of 632 points out of 1,000, up 23 from last year's results. (As one point of comparison, home-insurance companies earned an average score of 773 in the other J.D. Power customer-satisfaction study released this week.)

But as you can see from the above chart, taken from the PDF copy of the company's release announcing the news, some TV companies did better than others. Verizon's Fios, for instance, scored 714 in the eastern U.S., while satellite services DirecTV and Dish Network weren't far behind in that area, at 684 and 669. The major cable operators doing business in the Washington area -- Comcast, Cox and RCN -- trailed their competitors at, respectively, at 597, 644 and 602.

J.D. Power's site also provides a graphical breakdown of those scores, including ratings for such qualities as reliability, cost and customer service. Have a look at it and let me know in the comments whether those numbers square with your own experience.

By Rob Pegoraro  |  October 8, 2009; 8:46 AM ET
Categories:  TV  
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I'm curious to see a comparison with over the air TV.

Posted by: hesaid | October 8, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

3 of the 5 categories don't apply to OTA TV--billing, customer service, and offerings/promotions. If anyone didn't rate the cost of OTA as 5, they're whiners.

Posted by: ah___ | October 8, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

On FIOS, the service appeals to me as well. But I do have a question for others with it. It's a relatively new service. Like every cable co., Verizon seems to have promotional pricing for the first year or two. How many FIOS users have gotten past the promo pricing and are now paying more? Is their satisfaction still as high? I was a lot happier with RCN when I was paying $60/mo than now, when it's $95. Similar effect for FIOS, except with a larger percentage of customers still in the honeymoon phase?

Posted by: ah___ | October 8, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

The only thing that surprises me is that Comcast isn't ranked lower. They are a terrible provider and their only success is their monopolistic practice; it is the only service available to me in my Richmond apartment (both for tv and internet).

I agree with AH__ that Fios' ratings are inflated because it is still in its infancy. Anyone who has Fios loves it because it is brand spanking new, not available in all markets and wicked fast.

What I don't understand is the calculation. How can one provider earn as score of 714 with a perfect ranking of 5/5 for all categories and then Comcast earn a score of 597 when they ranked 2/5 across the board? that is a huge bell curve!! According to those rankings comcast should be around 290, or 2/5th's of Fios score.

In conclusion, comcast sucks.

Posted by: The_Dude_Abides1 | October 8, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Comcast needs to die a quick painful death so we can all dance on its grave. Terrible customer service, bad service overall, and because of problems with trees, the direction we face, etc., we can't go with DirecTV, and FIOS isn't in our area yet.

I fully sympathize with the woman who took a hammer to the computers at the Comcast customer center in Virginia a while back. I've been tempted to do the same myself. I just want to know how the questions were worded so that ANYONE gave them a positive score on ANYTHING!

Posted by: tgoren71 | October 8, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

After dealing with Verizon at the office for phone and internet services for five years, I can’t see ever signing a contract with Verizon again. After we ended our contract, we still got a bill for internet usage; apparently, Verizon thought we wanted to keep them around for backup Internet! Yeah, right.

While I heard good things about FIOS, I realize that I would still have to contact Verizon customer service. FIOS is simply not worth that and yeah, the price will go up. In our area, Cox is running tons of ads about people switching back after their experience with Verizon. FIOS? No, thanks!

Posted by: ummhuh1 | October 8, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm looking forward to having another choice besides Comcast, at the condo, even though the choice is another oligopoly. The curious thing about this chart is that I've noticed Comcast is getting better at reching out to it's customer's & diseminating network development news, via things like EXecutive blogs, Help Forums,& even Twitter.Recently comcast announced improvements such as 48 new HD channels, and an improved DVR more like TIVO,& a mobile cable ability. Still, dealing with the non-technical oriented CSR's, is a test of one's patience.
But for me,if comcast doesn't improve it's HD picture quality, I'll be tempted to switch the internet and tv connection, when Fios arrives.

Posted by: Max231 | October 8, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I was an early adopter when FIOS was rolled out in Northern Va. It had actual dedicated phone tech support from Georgia, never a wait for a human, very knowledgeable, one stop shopping for tech, billing, service questions. Now it's ho-hum. I have to scream "agent" a thousand times to get a human through the voice mail menu, support is spotty's still light years better than my old service from Cox. Cox had so many service outages it drove me crazy. I can't tell you how many 30 dollar credits from Cox I got when the tech folks scheduled to visit my house didn't show up. I have not had any problems with outages with FIOS. We like the TV programming they offer.

Posted by: tbva | October 8, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

We switched from Comcast to Verizon FiOS. Verizon customer service is nothing to write home about, but it is better than Comcast. Also, after the poor responses from Comcast when my Internet service went down, I would never ever give my phone service to them. Verizon does give utility grade service. Comcast does not. The FiOS has been almost bullet-proof in its reliability.

Posted by: Arlington4 | October 8, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Please note that J.D. Power Consumer Center Ratings may not include all information used to determine J.D. Power and Associates awards.


If I 'pay thru the nose' for service and JD Power, Nielson, or whomever calls up to do a survey, am I going to 'bad mouth' my 'cost thru the nose service' and thus look like an idiot ???

In the April Edition of Consumer Reports, [the Automotive Edition] similar graphs appear but HONDA AND TOYOTA traditionally scored the highest. One year Mercedes Benz had to pull their ratings, they were so mediocre.

Now Honda & Toyota are traditionally 'the best bang for the money,' with the highest resale value --- including all luxury car models.



Posted by: | October 9, 2009 1:32 AM | Report abuse

I'm looking forward to having another choice besides Comcast, at the condo, even though the choice is another oligopoly.

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Posted by: mikencube | October 9, 2009 7:52 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Arlington4. I have had FIOS for almost 3 years - phone, TV and internet. The service itself has been great. Crystal clear TV with none of the pixelation issues I had with Comcast, super fast internet for roughly the same price as Comcast, and both without the frequent outages. There have been 4 times I have had to deal with customer service, including the install. They were always professional and courteous, but the results were mixed. They got the wrong address for initial install and there was a long wait to fix a line that was cut by another company in our neighborhood (around Xmas). On other occasions they were able to offer and switch our service to a lower-priced package with no problem and once fixed a loose connection issue within a day.

Overall, I am very happy. I have hated the Comcast monopoly for a long time, but only slightly more than I hated the Verizon monopoly. My opinion of Verizon has gotten better.

Posted by: pejohnst | October 9, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Two things:

1. Comcast seems more preoccupied with raising rates than solving problems. It took 5 calls to get them to send a technician to my 89 year old mother's care home to fix her connection. I waited with her four times ALL day for a repair person who never showed! What a waste of several Sundays.

2. I hope Rob will do a review on PC TV services and cut thru all the fog on this. Trying to get the facts of what channels they have and how hard it is to install keeps me on the fence!

Posted by: EZReader1 | October 9, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

2 yrs ago my daughter tried FIOS in N VA. After a year of up and down, no TV and/or internet she jumped ship.

I'm surprised Dish Network didn't rate better. I moved my dish from here to Colorado and back this summer. Good quick support. The ~$1/day for TV bugs me but there is no other option where I spent the summer - The only county in CO without fiber-optic.

Posted by: Ag2000CO | October 12, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

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